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Deanna Dannels

Dean - Humanities & Social Sci

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Dr. Deanna P. Dannels (University of Utah, 1999) is Professor of Communication and Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Her research explores theoretical and curricular protocols for teacher development, as well as instructional models for designing, implementing, and assessing communication within the disciplines. She has published widely in areas of teacher training, communication across the curriculum, pedagogy, design and engineering education, business and technical communication, oral communication genres, and professional identity construction. Her cross-curricular writing focuses on the distinct nature of oral genre learning—specifically, her contributions include the “communication in the disciplines” and “relational genre knowledge” frameworks for oral communication across the curriculum. Her work also explores the communication-related questions and concerns that emerge in teacher development and training. Her book Eight Essential Questions Teachers Ask:  A Guidebook for Communicating with Students delineates these questions based on ten years of empirical data; providing research-grounded recommendations for addressing emergent teacher concerns. Additionally, her co-authored book, Oral Communication in the Disciplines: A Resource for Teacher Development and Training, provides practical advice, based on scholarly evidence, for teachers in all disciplines invested in supporting the development of students’ communication competence. Dr. Dannels served as the editor of Communication Education, a major national journal focused on scholarship that explores the intersections of communication, teaching and learning (2018-2020).

Dr. Dannels has won a number of different teaching and research awards, including the College of Humanities and Social Sciences recipient of the Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professor Award (2015) and Board of Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching (2014); the university recipient of the Outstanding Teacher Award (2009), the Southern States Communication Association recipient of the John I. Sisco Excellence in Teaching Award (2010), the Western States Communication Association Master Teacher Award (2010) and the National Council of Teachers of English Best Article on Pedagogy or Curriculum in Technical or Scientific Communication (2009).


Research Publications

Sample publications:

Editor-in-Chief, Communication Education (Volumes 67-69). 2018-2020: Leading national journal in field of communication focused on educational scholarship; sole editor for four volumes (each with four issues). Special forum in each issue titled “Wicked Problems: Imagining a New Landscape for Communication, Teaching, and Learning.”

Dannels, D.P., Palmerton, P., & Gaffney, A.L. (2017). Incorporating Oral Communication in the Disciplines: A Resource for Teacher Development and Training. Parlor Press.

Dannels, D.P.  (2015). Eight Essential Questions Teachers Ask: A Guidebook to Communicating with Students. New York: Oxford University Press.

Dannels, D.P. (2020). Ode to Light: a swan song. Communication Education, 69(4), 549-557.

Dannels, D.P. (2018). In the thresholds of scholarly transition. Communication Education, 67(1), 1-6.

Dannels, D.P. (2016). Opening lines: Scholarly inquiry and learning outcomes in communication. Communication Education, 65(4), 480-483.

Dannels, D.P. (2015).  Teacher Communication Concerns Revisited:  Calling into Question the Gnawing Pull Towards Equilibrium.  Communication Education, 64(1), 83-106.

Dannels, D.P., Darling, A., Fassett, D.L., Kerssen-Grief, J., Lane, D., Mottet, T.P., Neinby, K., & Sellnow, D. (2014).  Inception:  Beginning a New Conversation about Communication Pedagogy and Scholarship. Communication Education 63(4), 366-382.

Anson, C., Dannels, D., Flash, P., and Housley Gaffney, A. (2012). Big Rubrics and Weird Genres: The Futility of Using Generic Assessment Tools Across Diverse Instructional Contexts. Journal of Writing Assessment.

Dannels, D.P. (2011). Relational genre knowledge and the online design critique: Relational authenticity in preprofessional genre learning. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 25(1), 3-35.

Dannels, D.P., Housley Gaffney, A.L. & Norris Martin, K. (2011). Students’ talk about the climate of feedback interventions in the critique. Communication Education, 60(1), 95-114.


Ph.D. Communication University of Utah 1999